Roberto Faria, the Brazilian driver at the Sauber Academy, accelerates in GB3 and aims to enter Formula 1 – Sports

Jakob Ebrey

When I was six, in a classroom activity, Roberto Faria He had to do this classic task of drawing what he wanted to be when he grew up. I painted myself in a chariot Formula 1, to remember. After 12 years, the Carioca pilot begins to see that, little by little, a childhood dream does not seem so fanciful. A GB3 driver (formerly English F3), he has had good results and is currently the only Brazilian to join the Sauber Academy, a traditional Swiss team. There, he has among his teachers the Austrian Josef Lieber, the same as his physical trainer Ayrton Senna for several years.

Roberto Faria is currently third in GB3, but could finish the next stage in the lead, when the competition reaches the famous Belgian circuit Spa Francorchamps – the method is divided into eight stages, with three events each. Before that, however, he will take advantage of a conflict-free weekend to follow the F1 Silverstone GP with Sauber engineers. The driver said to stadium.

Roberto Faria was born in Rio, he did not come from a family of pilots. The taste for cars came about by chance, after trying other sports, such as football and volleyball. This made him start “late” in karting, the traditional gateway to the world of motorsports. “I did my first karting training when I was 11, when most people start at six,” he points out.

With no tracks in Rio—the Jacarepaguá racetrack was demolished to build Barra Olympic Park—he started making three weekly trips to Guapimirim to speed up in this category. “I’d get up at 5:40 a.m., have a 1:30 p.m. commute and come back before classes, in the afternoon,” he says. “It was like that for two years.”

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At the beginning of 2019, Roberto Faria decided to abandon karting and move to England, one of the greatest centers of motorsports in the world. He started in British Formula 4, and from there progressed to GB3, where he competed with Carlin. And in this category, he aroused the interest of Sauber, who invited him to join their pilot academy. The GB3 Championship is a UK based competition. It is the main single-seat class in England, and is aimed at young drivers exiting Formula 4 or karting.

Formula 1

Although it is an initial stage, joining the traditional team academy shortens the distance to the main category of world motorsport. “Three years ago, when I was karting, Formula 1 was very far away. Now I’m practically inside a team, talking to important people in this world,” says Roberto.

As a member of the Sauber Academy, he can now hit the Formula 1 circuit and follow the weekend in the lives of drivers. And at Silverstone, the experiment is happening for the first time. “We get to know their routines, because it’s not just about driving; you have to do the interviews and the signatures and talk to the engineers… It would be nice to have that contact, because they have a lot of experience.”

There is also experience with historical professionals in the world of motorsports. “My physical trainer is the same as Cena’s physical trainer,” he points out, citing Joseph Lieber. When I went to Switzerland at the beginning of the year (to learn about Sauber Academy), I arrived in Zurich, but went to another city for the tests. It was him Favorite He took me, and we talked for an hour and a half. It was really great to hear Cena’s stories of how dedicated he is.”

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With this environment Roberto Faria hopes to be able, in advance, to turn childhood painting into a reality. “Formula 1 is my main goal. It doesn’t just depend on me, it depends on several factors, but one of them is being part of an academy that supports it,” he points out. “We spoke at lunch with them, and they told me that the fact that I am Brazilian was a good thing, because Formula 1 is interested in a Brazilian driver. They say they are missing a Brazilian on the grid.”

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